Historic Downtown Charlotte Amalie
Historic Charlotte Amalie encompasses the area from Fort Christian in the east to the Market Square in the west. Amble along a narrow alley to the top of Government Hill for a view of the historic district. Old churches, many of which date to the early days of Danish colonization, are among the most distinctive landmarks. Fortifications around the historic town have been converted into tourist attractions and provide some of the best views of the harbor.
Today, most visitors concentrate on the shops and stores of historic Charlotte Amalie. The old warehouses have been restored and air-conditioned and now boast a large selection of duty-free jewelry, perfume, crystal, and other fine wares. However, even nonshoppers will appreciate the ambience of these old buildings and the narrow, cobblestoned walks between them.
Explore Charlotte Amalie on foot in the morning or late afternoon for the best experience. The noonday sun combined with slow-moving taxis that congest Main Street detract from the overall experience at other times of day. The town must be explored on foot—traffic is just too tight and parking too scarce to attempt driving, except at night, when street crime can be a problem.
© Susanna Henighan Potter from Moon Virgin Islands, 4th edition